Appalacian Adventure

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

Clingmans Dome Sun. Great Smoky Mountains NP. September, 2000
Photographed with a Rollei 6008 and 300mm Schneider lens on Provia 100F.
For details on how this photograph was made (and almost wasn’t), clickhere.

"Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery."

— John Ruskin

The Story

During September and October 2000 I was working out of Atlanta, Georgia. This time-out from my normal life was necessitated by personal reasons, but provided me with the opportunity to do photography in one of northeastern North America’s finest location for landscape photography —Great Smoky Mountain National Parkand the mountains ofNorthern Georgia.

Great Smokyis the United States’ most visited national park with more than 10 million visitors per year. It is also arguably the finest place in the United States for Fall colour due to its great variety of hardwood trees and mountainous terrain.

The Timetable

I was shooting not only in the park but also in the surrounding areas, so below and on linked pages you will find shooting locales identified bybothlocationanddate as the Fall season progresses. I shot throughout the area for a couple of days at a time, every 10 days or so through late October 2000.

Photographed with a Rollei 6008 and 180mm Schneider lens on Provia 100F.

The Locations

Great Smokycrosses two states,Tennesseein the west andNorth Carolinain the east. Just to the south of it are the mountains of northernGeorgia. The best base for shooting near there is the town ofHelen, as it provides close access to a number of state parks and interesting shooting locations. Helen is only about a 90 minute drive from the northern perimeter highway (Interstate 285) of the city ofAtlanta.

The park itself can be enjoyed using one of two towns as a base, eitherCherokeein the south orTownsendin the north. From Atlanta the drive toCherokeetakes about 3 hours. The town ofGatlinburgis also located on the north side of the park. But in my opinion it is one of the most disgustingly ugly, congested tourist traps on the face of the planet and should be avoided at all costs.

NB:Note that the town ofCherokeeis on the reservation and therefore dry. BYOB.

The Equipment

Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky National Park. September, 2000
Photographed with a Rollei 6008 and 300mm Schneider lens on Provia 100F

Because I traveled to Atlanta by car, and because I would be in the area for almost two months, I brought a variety of equipment. My main system, as always for landscape work, is theRollei 6008with 4 lenses. I also used theHasselblad ArcBodywith 2 lenses, mainly for hiking and of course for situations that require perspective control.

For panoramic work I had my old standby theHasselblad XPanand 3 lenses, and also the amazingNoblex 150UXwhich is a new addition to my arsenal.

Special Technical & Content Note:

Because I was working away from my standarddigital darkroomfor these two months the photographs shown on these pages were scanned with an inexpensiveEpson 1200U Photo scanner(part of my mobile image processing system) rather than my high-qualityImacon FlexTight Photoscanner. Consequently these scans are not to my usual standards, nor have I spent the amount of time needed perfecting them to my usual standards inPhotoShop

The Mountains of Northern Georgia

Wolf Pen Gap, White County, Georgia. September 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 45mm lens on Provia 100F.

For a complete section devoted to a travel guide and portfolio of photographs from the mountains of northernGeorgia, clickhere.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Clingmans Dome Road Sunrise #1. Great Smoky Mountains NP. September, 2000
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 90mm lens on Provia 100F.

For a complete section devoted to a travel guide and portfolio of photographs fromGreat Smoky National Park, clickhere.

Michael Reichmann

Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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